Justin Timberlake promoting MySpace

Singer/actor Justin Timberlake, above at an electronics show

Singer/actor Justin Timberlake, above at an electronics show in Las Vegas last winter, appears in a new video promoting MySpace, the social network site in which he now has an ownership stake. (Jan. 9, 2012) (Credit: AP)

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MySpace, the once-mighty social network, is trying to stage a comeback with the help of one of its new owners, Justin Timberlake. A video posted this week promoting the revamped site suggests it will look a bit like an entertainment-focused version of Pinterest, with a dash of Twitter and Facebook thrown in.

The co-star of "The Social Network" -- the Facebook biopic -- is featured prominently in the video and was among a group of investors who bought MySpace last summer from News Corp. for $35 million, mostly in stock. That was quite a difference from the $580 million that News Corp. paid for the company in 2005, when it was still an Internet darling.

From the sound if it, MySpace wants to win the hearts and minds of tech-savvy hipsters. Founded in 2003 and initially a fast-rising star, MySpace attracted mostly teenagers and 20-somethings, offering them a place to express themselves online. It peaked in 2008 with some 76 million U.S. visitors. The site lost its footing as the fun of customizing profile pages began to bore its users and the site's heavy use of banner advertisements slowed the speed at which pages loaded. At the same time, people were already migrating to Facebook.

The new promotional video offers a peek into a slick, image-heavy site. The site's much cleaner look is a stark contrast to the old MySpace, which users often derided as messy and cluttered. The video doesn't say when the new site will launch, only that it's "not ready quite yet."

The new MySpace will let users connect to the site with their Twitter or Facebook accounts, a sign it won't be competing with those sites as a social networking service. Rather, MySpace will keep its entertainment focus, as a place to play music, add photos, videos and playlists and connect with artists.

In August, research firm comScore put MySpace's monthly unique visitors at 28 million, making it the 43rd most visited Web property in the United States, behind the likes of not just Google, Facebook and Twitter but start-ups such as Tumblr, along with the reviews site Yelp and WebMD.

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